Backstage Update On Internal Reaction In WWE To Fan Response To WrestleMania Changes

Cody Rhodes was said to be a professional backstage at WWE Friday Night SmackDown earlier this week in terms of how he handled everything with The Rock replacing him against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40 later this year.

Fightful Select is reporting that Rhodes probably seemed somber in retrospect now that many know what was happening and how everything was going to ultimately play out that evening.

It was also mentioned how WWE definitely took note of various social media posts that highlighted polls, dislikes, and mainstream coverage of the situation.

One source indicated that you can’t rule out this possibly being a work from the start, or at least becoming one by the time things wrap up, based on how reactions continue to play out as time goes on and this story continues to unfold on television.

If it is a work, or is on track to become one, it is being kept extremely quiet.

The report also pointed out how the reactions internally in WWE seemed to have changed a bit since the initial reactions after things played out on Friday night’s show.

One WWE source noted, “well, this is preferable to the coverage of Vince McMahon, but that’s not going anywhere either. At least with this there can be peaks and valleys, and some sane people can justify it. With the coverage we were getting last week, it was all negative.”

Many in the company echoed this sentiment, with one even going as far as to say, “maybe the company prefers to appear inept than malicious by proxy of Vince [McMahon].”

As is the case in other similar circumstances in WWE’s past, there are some within the company who are oblivious to the reaction from the public, with some even going as far as to be in outright denial of how it is being perceived by fans.

Another reaction from one top talent in WWE saw him say, “I think Rock vs. Roman is a great match to have at Mania. Fans are excited and Cody will still get a huge match and all this will do is make the fans rally behind him even more coming out of it anyway so it’s still fine.”

Other reactions, such as one from a newer WWE talent, stated, “Dwayne is impossible to dislike if you meet him, and I think that a lot of what he’s built himself on would be undermined by actually going through with something like this. If you listen to so many of the things he’s said, especially to people like me, it just makes me think that it won’t happen the way it appears.”

Many within the company are under the impression that The Rock vs. Roman Reigns and Seth “Freakin'” Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes are the planned WrestleMania 40 matches, but made sure to point out how top bouts at past WrestleMania shows have changed as things drew closer and public reaction wasn’t what was expected internally when planning things out in advance.

One wrestler in WWE felt this is just a big test, “Rock got cheered at Smackdown, and booed on the screen at the house show. They’ll show it on screen at Raw, then the presser in Vegas and Smackdown will be telling. Will he even be around for Smackdown? I don’t know.”

Virtually everyone in the company is confident that regardless of how things play out, Cody Rhodes will handle it like a pro and roll with the punches as things happen.

Another talent said “If I know Dwayne like I think I know him, perception is very important to him. So I think the chances are high that he takes this head on and addresses it in some capacity.”

When asked if there were issues with Reigns or Rollins taking shots at the titles the other holds, one higher-up in WWE said, “look who we’re in business with now. That happens all the time. One champion has a reason their title is more valid than another’s. Perception is reality in that kind of situation. We definitely want to create that discussion. Do you value the guy who isn’t around as much and beat everyone, or do you value the guy who is around all the time and Roman didn’t actually beat? It’s not an accident.”